Is Fifty The Gateway To Weight Gain?

By · April 24, 2014 · Weight Loss · 6 Comments
Imitation Diamond Tiara On Bed Of Fallen Leaves

My most popular talk is Weight Loss after 40.

Everyone always wants to know the answer to the inevitable question; will I continue to gain weight as I age?

The answer is a complicated one.

Instinctively I want to say no, because I am over 50 and in denial.

However, the true answer is “No, if…”

The “if” is the turning point, and more complicated than it sounds.

No, if you eat healthy, unprocessed foods; if you watch portion sizes; if you continue to exercise on a consistent basis in a challenging way; if you deal with the stressors of life without stuffing them down, and if you can acknowledge that change is inevitable…

For a long time, change was not an option for me.

I clung to my former hard-bodied self with a death grip; but changes still occurred.

As my life became fuller, there was less time, more choices, and more opportunities to go astray. And suddenly looking twenty at fifty was not only impossible, but not necessary any more.

Don’t get me wrong; I still hit the gym six days a week, get a certain sense of satisfaction when I beat out my 40-year-old friends, and eat clean as a way of life.

Yet as the years pass I realize there is a loosening, not just in my skin, but my very nature. I’m softer now, in muscle tone and temperament. Age is pulling me inward to reflect on my thoughts instead of my thighs. I want to feel physically strong and purposeful, while also being graceful, pliable, and open to life and a changing world.

The greatest paradox is; the harder I try to stop the inevitable, the older I feel.

There is still the internal struggle of wanting what was, while trying to graciously welcome what is. Today the middle ground is doing what feels right, not what is required by my old youthful standards.

The truth is that weight can be measured in many forms; as a number on a scale, a burden, or an impossible ideal.

Strangely enough, I’ve come to realize that I am finally okay looking great for “my age”.

So I’m passing the crown of youth to my teen-age daughter, where it rightfully belongs. And suddenly, I feel lighter…

Is Fifty The Gateway To Weight Gain?

6 Responses

  1. Love this Annette! Very good thoughts. It’s kind of like, just be the best you can be where you are and however “old” you may be. Accepting that your body cannot stay the same but can age gracefully and strongly just the same. And why not? Our bodies are a gift that we have been given. We should do right by it, but realize that we do get older. I really admire women who
    are secure in how they look. Some are heavier in weight than others but carry themselves with such confidence! It is a great virtue to try to do all the right things, health-wise. But what is the point unless that makes you feel confident and joyful? I think when you do try to be healthy you feel better and it just leads to living a fuller and more purposeful life. When you feel good you want to reach out to others. That what life is about. Ok, too spiritual??

    Deb Barlow April 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm #
    • I like Deb’s comments. It is so difficult to accept that our bodies are just not what they used to be. As a grandmother, I have to keep telling myself that now I’m exercising to stay HEALTHY so that I can be around for my grandchildren! After all, what’s more important than health?! I’m also trying to focus on yoga and other mindful activities to keep me grounded and living in the moment. We need to be present at all times to enjoy the here and now!

      Sherry Gipson

      Sherry Gipson April 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm #
      • Yes, Sherry! Enjoy the here and now. I am turning to more mindful activities as well; yoga, meditation, qigong…I find these activities allow me to listen to my body, while heightening my awareness to the present moment. Thank you for your comment.

        Annette Alfieri April 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm #
    • Yes Deb, it is about being the best you can be, at any age!Acceptance is a powerful thing. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Annette Alfieri April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm #
  2. Well said! I love how you frame the internal struggle in finding a place to “want what was, while welcoming what is”. I think that we can get lost in mourning the way things used to be and in doing that we forget to embrace what age and perspective and change can offer us. It is a process, for sure. Thanks for putting it so well!

    Nancy Polstein April 25, 2014 at 12:57 am #
    • Thank you, Nancy. It is a process, or as I like to say, an unfolding. Who knows what gifts we can unwrap along the way?

      Annette Alfieri April 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

Leave a Reply